Molino & Lucidi


Dur­ing the fifties, West Ger­many was expe­ri­enc­ing a pros­per­ous phase for employ­ment, the so-called Wirtschaftswun­der (eco­nom­ic mir­a­cle), a rapid recon­struc­tion and devel­op­ment due to U.S. eco­nom­ic aid.
While West Ger­many showed an acute short­age of labor, in south­ern Euro­pean coun­tries and in Turkey unem­ploy­ment was increas­ing. Amer­i­can polit­i­cal influ­ence pushed West Ger­many to search for work­ers out­side the nation­al bor­ders and to sign bilat­er­al agree­ments with coun­tries where unem­ploy­ment rate was high: Gas­tar­beit­er (guest work­ers) got recruit­ed all over South­ern Europe. Italy was among the first ones to join and Turkey fol­lowed some years later.

Ital­ian artists Simona Moli­no and Mat­teo Luci­di ‑both resid­ing in Ger­many- reflect on their expats con­di­tion start­ing from those his­tor­i­cal events in order to focus the atten­tion on the efforts and strug­gle of human beings deal­ing with every­day changes. Mov­ing abroad, look­ing for a new job and a new apart­ment, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with a dif­fer­ent cul­ture are just a few exam­ples of all dif­fi­cul­ties an indi­vid­ual must endure. Dai­ly life forces us to face a con­stant suc­ces­sion of changes, con­flicts and risks, that can eas­i­ly increase our psy­chophys­i­cal stress.

The two artists aim to con­vey this state through the metaphor of sweat. Mois­ture drops appear­ing on our body’s sur­face because of sweat glands secre­tion can increase because of heat, strain or strong emo­tions, as a result of both men­tal and phys­i­cal stress. Per­spi­ra­tion of all kinds is induced by a change: a jump in tem­per­a­ture can make the glands secrete more liq­uid to reduce our body heat through evap­o­ra­tion; the tran­si­tion from a state of rest to motion while doing sport or a great phys­i­cal effort; the occur­rence of sev­er­al adver­si­ties caus­ing a state of apprehension.

Moli­no & Luci­di stage the “Sweat Muse­um” by set­ting up a visu­al path where objects, maque­ttes, pho­tographs, texts and videos tell a sto­ry about the diverse aspects of this mois­ture. Their work inves­ti­gates the way sweat is per­ceived and ana­lyzed in com­mu­ni­ca­tion, pol­i­tics, reli­gion and mar­ket­ing, through­out dif­fer­ent ages and societies.